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Thread: Tuba-Euphonium Doublers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    580

    Tuba-Euphonium Doublers

    Hi,

    I know that there are many on this forum that double on trombone but I was curious how many double on tuba. I'm a tuba player that doubles on Euphonium and trombone but find I'm playing more Euphonium now than anything else.

    Those that double on tuba, do you play BBb or Eb and why? Just curious if Eb tuba is an easier move than BBb for a Euph player wanting to double.
    John 3:16

    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  2. #2
    I double on tuba when needed with my Community Band. I use the highschool Yamaha Tuba they have and use my gold plated Shilke 66. I get around tuba fine, bit of a workout with getting the air going. In a perfect would, I would own 4 valve Eb compensating tuba. Its a bit strange since graduating from university 18 years ago that I doubled on tuba a lot more then trombone. I very rarely need to double on trombone for anything thanks to some pretty good high school trombone players at both the high schools in town and at the university.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    580
    Thanks for sharing. Have you had a chance to play test any Eb tubas? Just curious since you mention it if you've had a chance to tinker on one. I think Ebs are great all purpose horns. I really like them.

    Quote Originally Posted by euphlight View Post
    I double on tuba when needed with my Community Band. I use the highschool Yamaha Tuba they have and use my gold plated Shilke 66. I get around tuba fine, bit of a workout with getting the air going. In a perfect would, I would own 4 valve Eb compensating tuba. Its a bit strange since graduating from university 18 years ago that I doubled on tuba a lot more then trombone. I very rarely need to double on trombone for anything thanks to some pretty good high school trombone players at both the high schools in town and at the university.
    John 3:16

    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  4. #4
    Although I think it should be called "quadrupler", because I play 4 instruments, I am an instrument doubler. Euphonium is my main instrument. I play tenor trombone in one orchestra. I play bass trombone in another orchestra. And I play Eb tuba in a brass quintet and other ensembles. I find the Eb tuba to be easier to switch back and forth from euphonium than a Bb tuba would be. I play a 4 piston valve compensating tuba. I think Eb is easier for me just because the Bb is a bigger blow and harder for me to get used to as quickly as I can Eb. Although if I were to play tuba in an orchestra on a regular basis, I would probably go with a Bb tuba. The Eb works nicely in small ensembles like a brass quintet.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  5. #5
    Euphonium is my main instrument. In high school I taught myself trombone, and played it in some brass ensembles in college. Then in the CG Band I played trombone in the jazz ensemble, and also with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony.

    In the 1980's I had a chance to get a Sovereign Eb as a Besson artist - they sent me the horn but I had to work off the value in clinics and so on. Couldn't pass it up. Part of my motive was to improve my air/sound on euphonium. I enjoyed it! I Finally I really understood why tuba players seem to have so much fun. Later I played in a CT brass band, and after moving to MN I played in our church group and in a brass band here briefly.

    I find the Eb side valve configuration makes it feel like a big euphonium, which is slightly convenient. Also, the playing characteristics are quite similar to euphonium. Techniques used to play it are nearly identical: fingers, chop operation, warm-air concept, and tonguing. It does require more air quantity if you go low, but it is pretty well proven that a given note in a given octave takes about as much wind on tuba or euphonium. I think it's a great double for a euphonium player.

    Peculiar to me, perhaps, is that my brain is always thinking in Bb treble clef. So I can just read bass clef tuba music as treble clef, modifying accidentals as needed, and I had a big head start on learning. The big drawback is when I encounter wide intervals - my pitch memory comes into play and messes up my target!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. #6
    I played on a friends silver plated Willson 4 valve compensating Eb tuba once. I really like it. Sadly, my friend was killed in a vehicle accident around 20 years ago, really great tuba player and just a great guy. I believe his older brother, a really great tuba player who lives in Texas has it. Eb would be sufficient for what I would be playing.

    For tubas, in university, I played on a Bb Miraphone. It had rotary valves. The one I played on, the mid register was a bit klutzy sounding and tricky to control. In the one semester which I play tuba in a wind ensemble, I was given a bassoon part to play which the part was all soft mid register playing on tuba and it was fairly slow. While I could play the part on tuba, I ended up playing the part on my euphonium and made my life a lot easier! The other tuba player, an amateur community player said he couldn't play the part on his Bb tuba. There's been a few times playing in a brass quintet which I grabbed my euphonium and played the tuba part as written since I didn't have access to an Eb tuba. Scherzo by John Cheetham is the best example of this. With my Community Band, the highschool has a Yamaha YBB321. It plays pretty good.

    There's been a few times in university and with my Community Band which I had alternate between playing tuba and euphonium.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    580
    Thanks John. I find the bass Trombone to be a different beast altogether. Very different. I've played trombone for many years but bass trombone is so much more difficult (for me). You would think coming from tuba it would be easier with the size. I've heard others say that but I've not found that to be the case. Yes, I guess you are a quadrupler indeed!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Although I think it should be called "quadrupler", because I play 4 instruments, I am an instrument doubler. Euphonium is my main instrument. I play tenor trombone in one orchestra. I play bass trombone in another orchestra. And I play Eb tuba in a brass quintet and other ensembles. I find the Eb tuba to be easier to switch back and forth from euphonium than a Bb tuba would be. I play a 4 piston valve compensating tuba. I think Eb is easier for me just because the Bb is a bigger blow and harder for me to get used to as quickly as I can Eb. Although if I were to play tuba in an orchestra on a regular basis, I would probably go with a Bb tuba. The Eb works nicely in small ensembles like a brass quintet.
    John 3:16

    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    580
    Thanks Dave. Yes, I hadn't thought about the valve configuration being a more natural fit.....makes complete sense. Having to use my left hand on the 4th valve was hard for me to adjust to at first. I envy the treble clef reading! I keep putting off working on my treble sight reading but I really need to do that. By the way........do you feel it did improve your air and sound? I guess having to use much more volume of air on the tuba helped?

    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Euphonium is my main instrument. In high school I taught myself trombone, and played it in some brass ensembles in college. Then in the CG Band I played trombone in the jazz ensemble, and also with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony.

    In the 1980's I had a chance to get a Sovereign Eb as a Besson artist - they sent me the horn but I had to work off the value in clinics and so on. Couldn't pass it up. Part of my motive was to improve my air/sound on euphonium. I enjoyed it! I Finally I really understood why tuba players seem to have so much fun. Later I played in a CT brass band, and after moving to MN I played in our church group and in a brass band here briefly.

    I find the Eb side valve configuration makes it feel like a big euphonium, which is slightly convenient. Also, the playing characteristics are quite similar to euphonium. Techniques used to play it are nearly identical: fingers, chop operation, warm-air concept, and tonguing. It does require more air quantity if you go low, but it is pretty well proven that a given note in a given octave takes about as much wind on tuba or euphonium. I think it's a great double for a euphonium player.

    Peculiar to me, perhaps, is that my brain is always thinking in Bb treble clef. So I can just read bass clef tuba music as treble clef, modifying accidentals as needed, and I had a big head start on learning. The big drawback is when I encounter wide intervals - my pitch memory comes into play and messes up my target!
    John 3:16

    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    580
    Thanks for sharing. Very sorry to hear about your friend. Life is precious and we never know how much time we have. Very glad to hear his brother is a player. That's great.

    I played most of my military music career on Miraphone tubas. I enjoyed them but the trend now seems to be bigger, bigger and bigger. There are more models of 6/4 tubas coming out that I've ever seen. I owned a gigantic Cerveny 693, 20" bell, .835 bore horn for awhile. It put out massive sound but was difficult to play cleanly in technical passages when compared to a 4/4 or 5/4 horn and I ended up selling it and buying a B&S. Playing on a Mack Tuba now.

    Quote Originally Posted by euphlight View Post
    I played on a friends silver plated Willson 4 valve compensating Eb tuba once. I really like it. Sadly, my friend was killed in a vehicle accident around 20 years ago, really great tuba player and just a great guy. I believe his older brother, a really great tuba player who lives in Texas has it. Eb would be sufficient for what I would be playing.

    For tubas, in university, I played on a Bb Miraphone. It had rotary valves. The one I played on, the mid register was a bit klutzy sounding and tricky to control. In the one semester which I play tuba in a wind ensemble, I was given a bassoon part to play which the part was all soft mid register playing on tuba and it was fairly slow. While I could play the part on tuba, I ended up playing the part on my euphonium and made my life a lot easier! The other tuba player, an amateur community player said he couldn't play the part on his Bb tuba. There's been a few times playing in a brass quintet which I grabbed my euphonium and played the tuba part as written since I didn't have access to an Eb tuba. Scherzo by John Cheetham is the best example of this. With my Community Band, the highschool has a Yamaha YBB321. It plays pretty good.

    There's been a few times in university and with my Community Band which I had alternate between playing tuba and euphonium.
    John 3:16

    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Davidus1 View Post
    ...By the way........do you feel it did improve your air and sound? I guess having to use much more volume of air on the tuba helped?
    Yes, it did. Oddly, it even helped my chop strength in the high range.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

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